5 consecutive years without losing a match! In Spain, an incredible record is repeated Examples
Inaki Williams is just a machine.
Front “Track” Inaki Williams repeated the record of the Spanish championship, playing for the team from Bilbao in the 202nd consecutive game. The 27-year-old footballer has not lost a match of the Basques for 5.5 years – since April 2016! The former holder of this incredible record was Juan Antonio Laranaga from Real Sociedad.
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The dark Basque is a native of Bilbao, born into a Ghanaian refugee family. He has been with Athletic since he was 18 and made his first-team debut in December 2014. Now, on Williams’ behalf, there are already 303 games for Athletic: Inaki is just a machine.
Williams’ achievement is even more amazing, given that in April 2016, the young talent seemed prone to injury. During the 2015/2016 season, the striker left four times due to muscle injury, broken leg, ankle injury and hip problems. He lost 3.5 months and 24 games. But then Inaki left all the problems behind, strengthening his body and mind through hard work in training.
However, no forced pause during the season has not yet taken place. In the spring of 2020, the Spanish league was suspended for three months due to the coronavirus pandemic – then Williams took a break from football. Inaki admitted that it was not easy for him to return to the field.
“After the break, to be honest, the ball was square, not round. The equipment is lost due to such a long downtime. “It was difficult to reunite with the ball, but it was nice,” Williams told Movistar.
Inakis’s record could not be achieved for another reason. From his first and so far last participation for Spain in May 2016, Williams was approached by richer and more ambitious clubs from Athletic. Representatives of Tottenham, Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Napoli, Roma, Manchester United and Barcelona entered into negotiations with the Basques, but the transfer did not take place. Extending the contract with the striker, the club from Bilbao provided for a release clause in his contract, first in the amount of 50 million euros (in 2016), then 80 euros (in 2018) and then generally 135 million euros (in 2019). The current agreement is valid for almost seven more years, until the summer of 2028. According to Transfermarkt, Iñaki reached the top value in June 2019: then it was estimated at 50 million euros. Today, the record holder’s purchase price is just € 25 million.
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Williams, meanwhile, was playing non-stop. In August 2019, he became the owner of the largest consecutive number of games per player in the 21st century. In March of this year, he overtook Andoni Zubizarreta (184 matches), followed by another goalkeeper Luis Arconada (188). Finally, on September 25, in the away match of the 7th round, Examples with Valencia (1: 1) overtook Larranaga. It would have been nice to celebrate the replay of the record with one goal, but the striker still failed to score.
Williams has two goals in seven La Liga games this season. In the third round, his shot brought the team a away victory over Celta – 1: 0. After successfully pressing the opponent half of the field, the attacker completed the counterattack, breaking contact.
In the fourth round, Inaki became the author of the second goal against Mallorca. The Basques again managed to put pressure on the opponent half of the field, and Williams scored in the fall after a pass from the left side. His team won again (2: 0) and Atletico, strangely, had no other victories in the league.
If nothing stands in the way, Williams will set a new record on October 1 at home against Alaves. By the way, Larranhaga, a former midfielder and defender, also spoke about Iñaki’s achievement:
“The most incredible thing about Williams is that he is aggressive. He is in a difficult position for such a long series of matches. Forwards are usually exposed to many vibrations. You have to be very well prepared to play one match after another. I say this because I myself suffered every day and every week. He did not always give 100% of his potential, because many times he played with pain. “As a result, I developed traumatic arthritis in my big toe.”